We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
Blockchain and other Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) are immutable, encrypted and timestamped databases, in which data is recorded, validated and replicated across a decentralised network of nodes.
A range of opportunities and challenges could emerge through such technologies that will potentially enable parties who are geographically distant, or have no particular trust in each other, to record, verify and share digital or digitised assets on a peer-to-peer basis with fewer to no intermediaries.
The JRC has just completed a research project to explore the existing, emerging and potential applications based on Blockchain and other DLTs for industrial / non-financial sectors. The outcomes of the project and the accompanying report were presented at the closing event, taking place on 24 May in Brussels.
#Blockchain4EU: Blockchain for Industrial Transformations project, coordinated by the JRC's EU Policy Lab developed an innovative experimental approach that allowed generating ideas on how Blockchain and other DLTs could exist in the near future and ultimately test new narratives and plausible scenarios around it.
Amid unfolding and uncertain developments of the Blockchain space, the researchers signal a number of key insights for implementation and uptake by industry, businesses and SMEs around a technology that could record, secure and transfer any digitised transaction or process, and thus potentially affect large parts of current industrial landscapes.
Developed within the JRC's EU Policy Lab, the project pushed the frontiers of what’s common practice in policy when looking into new technologies. The resulting five speculative Blockchain prototypes, co-created with diverse groups of stakeholders, are meant to increase the range of the project's forward looking research and provide an alternative way to communicate about Blockchain.
Prototyping for policy offers ways not meant to predict futures, but instead to open up discussions for better informed decisions on the preferred directions of what is to come.
Gigbliss is an Internet of Things suite that offers three models of the same hairdryer, AUTO, BALANCE and PLUS, linked to three distinct economic models of energy consumption, management and trading.
#Blockchain4 EU Gigbliss
Bloodchain is an assets management system designed to deal with multiple points of supply and demand for the collection and transport of blood and other sensitive biological materials.
Gossip Chain allows anyone to submit rumours to a localised Blockchain and then it combines people's reputations and prediction markets to assess and register the information value and reliability.
#Blockchain4EU Gossip Chain
Vantage Point is a platform tackling data sharing, interoperability and integrity in manufacturing systems by storing products' digital twins and providing distinct information on them based on specific actors’ needs.
#Blockchain4EU Vantage Point
Care AI is a service providing access to basic healthcare in exchange of anonymised personal health data, which is later connected through smart contracts to a data marketplace for third party public and private entities.
#Blockchain4EU Care AI
Beyond their public presentation in the #Blockchain4EU final event, the five prototypes will be used later for research purposes in the scope of future activities developed by the JRC.
But most crucially, the prototypes will be used by DG GROW and other European Commission policy departments to stimulate debates on Blockchain and other DLTs within EU policy, industrial and business contexts.
The project entailed a mix of desk and qualitative research with a series of interviews, surveys, and ethnographic explorations, together with co-creation workshops.
These workshops resulted in the collaborative envisioning, design and creation of five prototypes aimed at physically showcasing how Blockchain could be applied in five specific sectors: energy, transports and logistics, creative industries, advanced manufacturing and health.